Chemoprevention refers to the administration of a medication for the purpose of preventing disease or infection. Antibiotics, for instance, could also be administered to patients with disorders of system function to stop bacterial infections. Antibiotics may also be administered to healthy individuals to limit the spread of an epidemic, or to patients who have repeated infections (such as urinary tract infections) to prevent a recurrence. It may also refer to the administration of heparin to prevent deep venous thrombosis in hospitalized patients.
In some cases, chemoprophylaxis is initiated to stop the spread of an existing infection in a private to a replacement organ system, as when intrathecal chemotherapy is run in patients with malignancy to prevent further infection. The use of chemoprophylaxis is restricted primarily by two factors: risk and financial costs. All medications have the potential to cause side effects. In general, chemoprophylaxis should be initiated only the advantages of treatment outweigh the risks.